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119: Scott Mueller of Shopchology on where modern retail is headed   

In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Scott Mueller, president at Shopchology, a shopper marketing and insights company. During the podcast, they discuss the “retail apocalypse” and challenge the popular notion that retail is dying, (hint: it’s not dying — it’s evolving), what modern retail means to both brands and retailers, and Mueller provides insight into the future of retail using real-world examples to make his point. They also talk about an article they collaborated on for Adweek that examines the ways brands can thrive in the rapidly evolving retail industry.

In talking about ways brands can gain traction in that rapidly evolving landscape, Mueller outlines how authenticity is key in connecting with shoppers. “Experience, storytelling — they’re everything. They’re so important.” says Mueller. “They’ve always been important, but they’re so crucial now — to getting that mix correct, that vibe correct. Defining and animating your story — who you are and why you deserve the time, the consideration, the dollars from that shopper. And that’s important for both brands and retailers.”

Mueller goes on to add, “You can’t make it up. You can’t do it in a way that doesn’t have credibility, and it shouldn’t feel forced. It should feel natural.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Mueller worked on both the client side and agency side before focusing on shopper marketing. (1:21)
  • Shifting sands: Mueller discusses how relationship between brands, retailers, and shoppers have changed over time and how shoppers are now the ones calling the shots. (3:09)
  • Retail apocalypse? Mueller on the current state of retail. (5:12)
  • Mueller’s take on the different ways pop-ups work and what it means for marketers and brands. (12:17)
  • Mueller talks about the Nordstrom “service center” in Hollywood and other retail experiments. (17:48)
  • How brands — big and small — should tap into the evolving retail landscape. (23:02)
  • Getting married and having children have made Mueller a better marketer. (28:29)
  • Mueller loves working with the American Underground in Durham. (31:31)